One of our young artists Ariyah* sold a piece of her artwork at our most recent children’s art show! Every time one of our children sells a work of art, we congratulate him or her with a gift of art supplies or something they can use to succeed in life and their art journey. In order to best serve her, we asked Ariyah’s mother to name one thing that Ariyah really needed. Her mother told us that Ariyah’s teacher recommended that she use an app to practice her math skills over the summer break. We know from our experience in working with children who go to overcrowded schools and who aren’t fortunate enough to have a stable home after school, that summer break is more of an interruption to their learning journey than it is a holiday. Because of a generous drawchange donor, we were able to meet the request and provide Ariyah with an iPad and new art materials as a congratulation for selling her piece.
Our art programs are designed to help children focus and reflect on what they’re doing and where they want to go in life, so deciding to seek funding to purchase an iPad required us to consider the benefits of the technology versus the consequences. We were skeptical at first, but after seeking out the help of parents in our social media network, several responded in support of the idea based on their personal experiences. Some of their childrens’ elementary school teachers are using tablets in the classroom and recommending them for reinforcement. We’ve been in contact with Ariyah’s mother since Ariyah received her rewards and her mother tells us that she’s already seen an improvement in Ariyah’s math skills. She excitely shared, “The math app challenges her because it has a time limit for solving each math problem,” and that she also sets up a time limit for the iPad itself so that “she’s not playing on it all day.”
Ariyah’s beautiful work of art:
Artwork description as written by staff Art Therapist:
This artist’s whimsical and folksy depiction of her home is bubbling over with bright, happy colors and energetic symbols. The roof of her house is surrounded by blue stars and pink hearts indicating that her home is full of love and light. In both her animal habitat and her home drawing she makes reference to her cousin, who she places at the top of the house in this drawing. Her cousin is playfully perched on the roof along with her orange cat. Clearly her cousin is close to her heart and is not only a family member but a dear friend. As in her Animal Habitat drawing, she has taken special care to provide a small house for her cat to make sure he has a place to sleep safely and be protected from the outside elements. She’s also included herself in her artwork, next to the front door of the house, and she has a joyous smile on her face indicating how happy she is to be surrounded by the love in her cheerful home.
Way to go Ariyah*!
As stated by our founder/CEO, Jennie Lobato,
“Children’s art shows are truly a culmination of our programs and they bring our programs’ work full circle. The children work very hard creating their artwork while navigating many emotional ups and downs. For them to have an opportunity to dress up with their family and friends, to get away from the homeless shelter for an evening, and to arrive to a room of people there just to see their artwork is one of the biggest confidence boosters our organization is able to provide these children. When a child sells their work, that is just icing on the cake!”
Many thanks to our #drawchangefamily!
Supporters like YOU are the ones who help make stories like this possible!
Thank you to our Event Sponsors:
Jay D Transportation, HodgePodge Coffeehouse and Gallery, Beliyou Kauffman, Lynn Abent
*Name has been changed.